mind, and which are reflected in the popular anxiety to know whether the text of the renewed Treaty is precisely the same as its forerunners.

Suggestive material for a solution of these problems may be found by comparing the structure and aims of the Bismarckian system with the changes which, during the last eleven years, have come over the relations of the Powers and the consistent tendency of those changes.

The Bismarckian system, of which the Alliance with Austria was the nucleus and the Triplice the most striking manifestation, consisted of a European coalition to preserve the status quo. Its primary aim so far as its author was concerned was the isolation of France. In this respect it resembled curiously the Metternichian system which followed the settlement of 1815. This point is of importance in any study of the instinctive springs of French policy, because the persistent efforts of European statesmanship to hold France in leading strings during the whole of the last century necessarily aggravated the normal restlessness of the people and gave to French policy an aggressive bias which it has never really renounced. The success of Prince Bismarck was, however, far greater than that of his Austrian predecessor. More subtle than Metternich, he avoided the touchstone of a uniform set of principles and was content with any device and any concession to local interests and prejudices so long as the result was to attach the Powers more or less directly to his Anti-French chariot. Thus in 1884 he effectually prevented a Franco-Russian Alliance and insured himself against an Austro-Russian modus vivendi in the Balkans, which

2 For the objects of this treaty see Bismarck's "Reflections and Reminiscences." vol. ii, pp. 271, 277.

The terms of this understanding were fully dealt with by the present writer in the "Westminster Gazette," May 30, 1902.

would have weakened the Austrian allegiance to the Triplice, by negotiating the Secret Neutrality Treaty with Russia. In 1887 he turned the disaffection of Italy to his own account by inducing Great Britain to come to an understanding with Italy in regard to the status quo in the Mediterranean, thus at once binding Italy more firmly to the Triple Alliance and formally identifying Great Britain with it. Ostensibly to complete the security of the Mediterranean he promoted an agreement between Italy and Spain also for the defence of the status quo, the result of which was to bring Spain into the orbit of the Triple Alliance. Portugal was already assured by her Alliance with Great Britain. Finally in 1886 the support of Servia and in 1895 that of Roumania were secured by separate military conventions with Austria for the defence of the Balkans." The upshot was that in one way or another the Bismarckian Alliance against France consisted of all the other five Great Powers, together with four of the minor States-a combination which for magnitude has not its parallel in history.

Now there can be no question that while this huge combination lasted peace was absolutely assured. But if, to this extent, it effected its purpose, it did nothing to allay the passions by. which the dangers to peace were animated. On the contrary, its very magnitude and completeness aggravated those passions. It added to the French consciousness of spoilation a deeply mortifying sense of isolation and subservience. The consequence was that the Revanche idea became gradually relegated to the background of practical politics, and in its place there arose a

See "Tribuna," June 6, 1902.

Details of these agreements are given in "Petersburger Zeitung" 2-15 February, 1902 (Servia), and "Neue Freie Presse," August 22, 1895 (Roumania).

fixed determination to reconquer the national freedom of action. In short, to smash the Bismarckian system now became a point of honor with all French statesmen, and this has been the mainspring of all the changes which have since taken place in the European situation.

The first opportunity came in 1891. In the spring of the previous year the great Chancellor had retired from office, and his successor had found considerable difficulty in sustaining the complicated system of foreign policy to which he had succeeded. He was especially revolted by the disingenuousness of the secret Neutrality Treaty with Russia, and as it was on the eve of expiring he resolved not to renew it. The idea that this step would be followed by a Franco-Russian alliance does not seem to have been seriously entertained in Berlin. The Neue Kurs was full of amiable delusions, and among them were a firm reliance on the anti-Republican prejudices of the Tsar, and a naïve belief that French hostility could be killed by kindness. All the Kaiser's friendly overtures, however, only resulted in exhibiting, in a clearer and more sinister light, the irreconcilability of the French. Towards the end of June the renewal of the Triple Alliance for the second time was announced. A month later the French fleet under Admiral Gervais appeared at Cronstadt, and the conclusion of a Franco-Russian alliance was made manifest to the world.

It is curiously illustrative of the optimism which still prevailed in Berlin that when Count Caprivi was interrogated about the demonstration at Cronstadt, he said that nothing essential had been changed in Europe, "only the balance of power was re-established." He went on to explain that inasmuch

Speech on November 27, 1901. See Schulthess's "Europaischer Geschichtskalender" (1901) pp. 146-158.

as this balance deprived the French of the grievance of isolation, the stability of the European situation had really acquired a fresh guarantee." So far as the re-establishment of the balance of power was concerned, the Chancellor was right; but one has only to read the French newspapers of the time to see that French public opinion had not the remotest idea of resting satisfied with its reconquered sense of freedom. The accumulated bitternesses of twenty-one years of humiliating constraint were not to be cured in a day, and behind them rankled not only the old wound on the Eastern frontier, but a new one in the Mediterranean, where France was confronted by an overwhelming naval coalition. The Russian, Alliance was consequently regarded not as an end but as a means, and the next step was to attempt to upset the new balance to the advantage of France.

In which direction was her diplomacy to operate? Which of the allies of Germany should be the object of her disintegrating attentions? Thirteen years before, in the reactionary Presidency of Marshal Mac Mahon, her choice would have been clear. At that time it would have been possible for her to have concluded an alliance with Austria on a clerical basis, and had the Marshal remained in power there can be little question but that such a combination would have been one of the results of his policy. Since, then, however, the Seize Mai had made the Republic irrevocably anti-clerical. Moreover, the tension of Austro-Russian relations in the Balkans was as serious as ever, and it was largely on that account that Russia had agreed to the alliance with France. Obviously, then, Austria was not to be thought of. There remained Italy. Here the prospects were far more favorable. Growing Chaudordy: "La France en 1889," pp. 193,


financial disorder, aggravated by the disastrous effects of the tariff war with France, had evoked a widespread antipathy to the Triple Alliance in Italy. For the first time for many years, too, a Francophil Cabinet was in power. In its anxiety to conciliate France, the new Ministry had even gone to the length of insisting on a modification of the terms of the Triple Alliance, abolishing the military conventions and eliminating the causes pledging Italy to the territorial integrity of her allies." It had further taken the trouble to give assurances to Russia to the effect that in its new form the Triple Alliance in no way threatened France, and there is good reason for believing that it communicated to St. Petersburg the changes it had secured. Clearly then, Italy was the more hopeful field for the new Anti-Triplical diplomacy of France. Thither accordingly its efforts were directed.

Signor Luzzatti recently declared that had France liked she might have come to an understanding with Italy in 1891.10 The statement is very general, and it is doubtful whether it takes due account of all the forces which at that time were still making for loyalty to the Triple Alliance in Italy. It is, however, important as showing how strongly disposed was the Rudini Cabinet-of which Signor Luzzatti was one of the leading members-to pursue a Francophil course. Indeed, but for the King and the exigeant attitude of the Quai d'Orsay it is probable that the Triple Alliance would not have been renewed in that year. The chief impediment, however, was the arrogant state of mind of the French statesmen at the time. They saw that the Triple Alliance had worked badly for Italy. They saw, too, that the Tariff war,

8 Revelations of Signor Rudini's friend, Maggiorino Ferraris, in "Corriere de la Sera," June 6, 1891.

which they had instituted in 1888, had struck Italy almost to her knees. When, early in 1891, M. Léon Say brought back from his mission to Venice a message from Signor Luzzatti that Italy desired to reopen negotiations for a commercial treaty and to float a loan in Paris, they imagined that they had only to give the screw one more turn and Italy would succumb. Accordingly they replied that before any commercial or financial transactions could be entertained the question of political relations would have to be settled." Acting, it is said, under the advice of Great Britain, the Rudini Cabinet declined this proposal and two months later the modified treaty of the Triple Alliance was signed.

The opportunity thus missed did not reappear for six years. Signor Crispi returned to power and war to the knife was resumed on both sides of the Alps. Owing to the Anglophobia which had now taken a strong hold on the French populace the efforts of the Quai d'Orsay became directed more to upsetting the maritime alliance of Italy with Great Britain than to bullying her out of the Triplice. The methods, however, remained the same. Hectoring and threatening and pin-pricking were still the instruments on which French diplomacy relied for a solution; but on Signor Crispi they had little effect. When the Franco-Russian naval demonstration at Toulon in 1893 revealed the Mediterranean bias of the new alliance it was firmly answered by Anglo-Italian demonstrations at Taranto and Spezzia. The denunciation of the ItaloTunisian Treaty of Commerce by France in 1895 gave fresh point and strength to Signor Crispi's anti-French policy. Italy, too, was rapidly recovering from the ill-effects of her Tariff

Schulthess :"Europ. Gesch." (1891) p. 252, (1896) p. 247.

10 Temps," April 17, 1902.

11 "Berlin, Wien, Rome," pp.129-131.

war, owing to the favorable terms she had made with Germany and Austria in the commercial treaties of 1891. It now only required some striking propitiation of Italian jingoism in the colonial domain to silence the Francophils forever and to convince the whole of Italy that in the land alliance with the Central Powers and in the sea alliance with Great Britain all her chances of salvation lay.

Unhappily this crowning mercy was not vouchsafed her. On the bloody field of Adowa not only were Italian ambitions in Abyssinia shattered but a decisive blow was struck at the foundations of Italian foreign policy. Signor Crispi was hounded from power as the homme néfaste of his country and into his place the Francophil Marchese di Rudini once more stepped. The circumstances, however, were not yet ripe for a definite breach with the Triplice. Its Irredentist enemies were loud and numerous enough but they were divided. In view of the still menacing attitude of France an influential section was in favor of a direct understanding with Russia. Their idea was to secure Italian interest in Austria and the Balkans as compensation for Tunis, and ultimately to lead through reconciliation with France to a great LatinSlav combination in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.12 At the tacit head of this section' was the then Prince of Naples, whose antagonism to his father's policy had been accentuated by his contemplated marriage with Princess Helen of Montenegro. With the anti-Triplical forces thus paralyzed, with France hostile and Russia not yet approached and with a great national humiliation ringing in the ears of the nation, the friends of the status quo found an opportunity to assure the country against an immedi

12 For an account of this idea see "Revue Poltique et Parlementaire," February 10, 1901. 13 Statements of Mr. Balfour (June 5, 1896)

ate change in foreign policy. Pro-Triplical elements were introduced into the new cabinet and when Germany astutely proposed the renewal of the alliance for seven years, the overture was accepted. For a moment, indeed, public opinion was persuaded that the renewal was a precious set-off against Adowa, inasmuch as it demonstrated to. the world that in spite of her misfortunes Italy's rôle in Europe had been neither effaced nor diminished.

It was, however, only for a moment. Within a few months the movement against the Triple Alliance was stronger than ever. Even while the renewal was being negotiated the Francophils in the Cabinet had found means to strike a serious blow at the Mediterranean understanding with Great Britain and thus to let France know that their sympathies were still with her. There had been difficulties between the Crispi Ministry and Lord Salisbury in regard to the Abyssinian campaign. As soon as Signor Rudini returned to power he published three Green Books in which, side by side with documents designed to discredit his predecessor, he printed all the confidential despatches which had passed between London and Rome. This was done without seeking the previous permission of Downing Street, and the documents were so framed as to make it appear not only that this country was grudg ing in its friendship for Italy, but that the delays and hesitations of Lord Salisbury had been largely responsible for the disaster at Adowa. It is impossible to account for this gross vio lation of diplomatic etiquette-especially in the light of surrounding circumstances -except by the hypothesis that Signor Rudini was resolved to discredit the Anglo-Italian understanding in the eyes of his countrymen. A few


and Mr. Curzon (June 11) in House of Com


weeks later, owing to its discordant elements, the Cabinet resigned, and Signor Rudini was able to reconstruct it on frankly anti-Triplical lines.

This time the Francophilism of the Italians fared better than in 1891. Both in Russia and France and no doubt in France through Russia-it was recognized that the chance of detaching Italy from her allies was too good to be played with. Events in the Balkans were becoming more favorable for Russia. Bulgaria had submitted to her, and Servia was for the moment at daggers drawn with Austria-Hungary. The betrothal of the Italian Crown Prince t to a daughter of the Prince of Montenegro -the most Russophil and the most ambitious of the Balkan Chieftainsopened up an alluring vista of an extended Latin-Slav combination. Prince Lobanoff, who was then Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was a man who knew an opportunity when he saw it. The last great act of his life was to establish firmly the starting point of the new European situation. Before the end of the year the policy of the Rudini Cabinet had amply justified itself. Within a month of the betrothal of the Prince of Naples the Tunisian question was settled by direct negotiation between Rome and Paris. In October the Princess Helen of Montenegro became Crown Princess of Italy and less than five weeks later, thanks largely to the good offices of Russia and France, an honorable peace with Abyssinia was signed.

The Dual Alliance now had the ball at its feet. Everything depended upon the way in which it was managed. At this moment France was fortunate in finding a man to represent her in Rome who thoroughly understood the great game to be played, and who possessed in a remarkable degree the subtle qualities by which victory might be se cured. This was M. Camille Barrère. Although he had been in the diplomatic

service for seventeen years he was not of the profession. It must indeed be a source of some mortification to professional diplomatists that the two men who have done most to undo the work of Prince Bismarck, after so many duly qualified professors had failed, were both ex-journalists. M. Barrère first studied foreign politics as a writer for newspapers. While a Communard refu. gee in London the Manchester Guardian, I believe, sent him to Germany to report the Berlin Congress. There he made the acquaintance of M. Waddington who introduced him to Gambetta and for some months afterwards he was on the staff of the République Française, sharing the same desk with another amateur diplomatist who was destined for great things, M. Théophile Delcassé. M. Freycinet made him a Secretary of Embassy, and after a year passed at the Quai d'Orsay learning the routine of diplomacy he set out on his travels. His promotion was rapid. When in 1894 he was appointed to succeed M. Arago at Berne he was the youngest ambassador in the Annuaire, but his mastery of all the problems confided to him, the soundness of his judgments and the tenacious and-in Mr. Chamberlain's sense of the termunscrupulous activity with which he pursued his ends marked him out as one of the most valuable servants of the Republic. It was not, however, until he reached Rome that his combative finesse found a fitting theatre.

From the beginning M. Barrère recognized all the dangerous futility of the bullying policy of his predecessor. He saw that if the Italians were to be won, they had to be convinced that France was indeed their friend, and that this could only be accomplished by caresses, by judicious sacrifices, by deferentially humoring their grievances against their allies and by tempting their ambitions so far as they did not conflict with those of his own country.

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